Schwartz's is a Montreal institution. Located on St. Laurent, one must line up about 70% of the time to get in. Everything on the menu is kosher, but most of the clientelle are gentiles.

Smoked meat is the mainstay, but fried chicken, steak, french fries, and forearm-sized dill pickles are also available. Cott's Cherry Soda is sold there, and Schwartz's seems to be the only consumer of that flavor.

Everyone working there is over sixty, and ususlly male.

Schwartz's has never served fried chicken! The menu is minimalist - smoked meat, steak, grilled liver and, I think, some kind of sausage. They sell smoked chicken and turkey but only for takeout. The sign says "Order early for the holidays" and they never take it down, because somebody's holidays are bound to be on the way at any time.

The menu may be typically kosher but, as I understand it, it's not regarded as an officially kosher institution any more. In fact, I'm pretty sure the current owner is Greek.

You can't get alcohol at Schwartz's. I once came in to hear one of those weary, elderly waiters saying to a fancily-dressed female customer: "Lady, you want wine, we have cherry cola. You want beer, we have ginger ale. We don't have a license. This is Schwartz's."

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